MISSOULA – UM Dining at the University of Montana has expanded its approach to sustainability with Just Eats, a program that addresses social, environmental and economic issues of the food system.
“We often think of sustainability in terms of environmental impact and awareness, but in reality, it’s so much broader than that,” said Trevor Lowell, UM Dining director of sustainability. “Through the Just Eats program, we are challenging ourselves to look more broadly at how our business practices affect our guests, our employees, our community and our environment.”
The new program takes on six targeted subject areas across the food system: agriculture, food access, menus, procurement, education and waste.
Many of the programs impact multiple areas. UM Dining’s new Dollar Coffee Club helps reduce waste by incentivizing the use of reusable mugs while also raising money for a sustainability scholarship fund through its $3 membership fee.
Just Eats also boosts long-standing initiatives, such as the UM Farm to College program, which since 2003 has invested more than $9 million in Montana’s agricultural economy through local procurement practices.
“We’ve been very successful with initiatives such as the Farm to College program, and we want to build on that success,” said Camp Howard, director of UM Dining. “Just Eats gives us a platform to talk about sustainability more holistically and to highlight all the other ways we are engaging with these important issues.”
UM Dining is recognized as a leader in sustainability among college and university food services. To read more about the Just Eats program, visit http://www.justeatsmt.com/.